The Rice Creek Water Trail is a beautiful tributary to the Mississippi River and a fun place to paddle a canoe or kayak. The Rice Creek Water Trail begins in Lino Lakes and extends 23 miles to the Mississippi River in Fridley.
On its way to the Mississippi River, the Rice Creek Water Trail flows through a variety of habitats and back-drops. The first 7 miles of the water trail, begins at the Peltier Lake public boat launch and makes its way through five lakes before narrowing into the creek. The next section of the creek, travels from Baldwin Lake to Long Lake and meanders through very scenic meadows, under several bridges, and winds through some residential areas ending at Long Lake Regional Park. Along the Rice Creek Water Trail there are several places to launch and take out canoes and kayaks. This allows for a multitude of paddling routes. Paddlers can pick a route that fits their time frame, paddling ability, and scenery preference.
Like any creek or river, the Rice Creek water level fluctuates depending on the time of year and precipitation amounts. At times in the spring the water can be too high on Rice Creek to safely get under some bridges or through some box culverts; compared to times later in the summer and fall when stretches of the creek are too low to paddle.
Along with the water level there are a couple other factors that can affect a paddle on the Rice Creek. During the summer, weeds in the upper lakes section can make it difficult to paddle. The creek also passes through several box culverts. At lower water levels there are erosion control rocks / boulders at the end of these culverts that boats can get hung up on.
Always wear a life jacket. Paddling skills are required to navigate obstacles and to keep boats pointed down-stream. Getting your boat sideways into a down tree or snag can be dangerous, even on the Rice Creek. Scout your route before getting on the creek and make sure the water isn’t too high or too low. Canoeing and kayaking have inherent risks. You should have full knowledge of the nature and extent of these risks associated with canoeing and kayaking before getting on the water.
Enjoy this unique local resource, appreciate the abundant wildlife, have fun, and paddle safe.